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Bludgeoned to death with fortune cookies

I have a new entry to add to my long-neglected Ambiguous Billboard Philosophy page:

"Most knocking is done by those who are unable to ring the bell."

Say it with me now: "Wtf?"

It is currently posted on the advertisement board of a small business along my commute. It has nothing to do with their line of work; they just like to put up Inspirational Sayings. But it's starting to drive me freakin' nuts, because this jaunty little statement, like most of theirs, means nothing if you think about it.

They seem to be saying that if you want to get someone's attention, then, well, it's pointless to knock on the door, my friend. Get with the times, and ring the doorbell! Only then shall you get an answer! Knocking--so passe! Who answers a knock anymore?

To which we all reply, reasonably, "Well, I do." Knocking, as far as I know, is still regarded as a perfectly valid way of getting attention at any door, even The Door of Opportunity - which, since it isn't a real door, shouldn't be constrained by these knock-vs-bell arguments anyway.

Or maybe they just meant it literally: if someone knocks, then it means they cannot (for one reason or another) activate the doorbell (assuming there is one). That would make this statement a tautology - a word which here means "a statement of the stupidly obvious." How is that supposed to enlighten me on the drive to work?

Honestly, what were they trying to say? Any ideas? Because I'm at a loss.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
teasel
May. 24th, 2004 12:11 pm (UTC)
Most knocking is done by those who are unable to ring the bell.

I'd like to point out that nowhere in this sentence does the writer mention anything to do with a door. Therefore, because I have a dirty mind, I choose to believe that the whole thing refers to sexual practices that most of us can scarely imagine. If you're too uncoordinated to "ring the bell" (wink wink, nudge nudge) then you knock (wink wink) instead. Preferably with appropriate protection.
mollyringle
May. 24th, 2004 07:17 pm (UTC)
*snicker*

Ah, so it isn't irrelevant that the place is a sex-toys emporium?
Just kidding. It's a cleaning contractor or something like that. But, yes, that must be it: "not flexible enough to 'ring the bell'? Take our Hot Yoga class and graduate from that tedious old 'knocking' you've been doing..."
partywhipple
May. 24th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
Knocking, as far as I know, is still regarded as a perfectly valid way of getting attention at any door, even The Door of Opportunity - which, since it isn't a real door, shouldn't be constrained by these knock-vs-bell arguments anyway.

This may be the funniest thing I have read in a week. Seriously, I couldn't stop laughing. I don't know why, it's just so weird to be talking about knocking vs ringing a doorbell. Yeah, the statement "Most knocking is done by those who are unable to ring the bell." means nothing at all from what i can tell. I am going to have to use it next time I am arguing with a hard line Liberal. LOL
mollyringle
May. 24th, 2004 07:18 pm (UTC)
hee hee. Glad I could turn the stupid situation into amusement, at least. :)

It really does have the sound of those nonsensical "Today, Confucius say..." statements that people try to make up to be funny.
valarltd
May. 24th, 2004 03:58 pm (UTC)
I agree with the cookie.

IME most knocking comes from S-Next-Door, who at 3'7" is too short to reach my doorbell. (She wants to play with my kids.)
mollyringle
May. 24th, 2004 07:21 pm (UTC)
Ah...so what they're saying is, "If someone's knocking, it's probably a kid who can't reach the bell"? Well, that makes sense. Not a very useful message, though. :)
gillianinoz
May. 24th, 2004 05:48 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you're being serious or not, but I will answer the question seriously.

To 'knock' something is to criticize it.

So to say Most 'knocking' is done by someone unable to ring the bell seems to suggest they are saying 'Most people who criticize something don't know how to do it themselves.'

If you knew this and were just being facetious, please ignore this post.

mollyringle
May. 24th, 2004 07:23 pm (UTC)
I was being serious in looking for what they could possibly mean. And I do have that meaning of "knock" in my vocabulary, but I didn't think of it that way.

However, I don't think that's what they meant, because "ring the bell" doesn't have a colloquial meaning the way "knock" does, as far as I know. You had to assign one to it - i.e., "to take action oneself" - in order to make sense of the statement. And therefore, if that is what they meant, they wrapped it up in way too much obscurity.

Given the lameness of their previous messages, though, I don't think they're the type to be that obscure anyway. I think they were aiming for some pithy door-related message, and missed.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )